Unhappy about incremental backup size and product support

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by johnlu_78759, Jun 16, 2004.

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  1. johnlu_78759

    johnlu_78759 Registered Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Apologies for any newbie mistakes or poor assumptions I make here, but I wanted to vent a little and get some advice.

    I consider myself burned because I trusted PC Magazine's high rating of this product too much and have been extremely disappointed as a result. Instead of investing time to find some reasonable open-source alternative or to make sure all the features I expected were present and functional, I just ponied up the $50 (or whatever) to buy TI version 7.0. Mistake, so far.

    Here are my complaints:
    1. No partial backup/filtering feature. Foolishly, I assumed that the software would give me the flexibility to mark portions of the filesystem to be included in the backup. No dice. I understand that Acronis considers entire-disk backup/cloning/restoration to be their sweet spot, but the lack of this feature makes the software far less attractive to the home user, in my opinion.
    2. Massive size of incremental backup images! After an initial full backup that was 13 GB big, I hoped for daily incremental backups that were in the tens of MB range. No! Instead, I get seemingly random sizes anywhere between 100 MB and 1 GB (so far). At first, I thought I could rectify this by taking point 1 above into consideration. So, I moved everything within reason off of my target partition (including, laboriously, Documents and Settings, in an effort to avoid things like my browser caches) and made sure that the partition Windows lives on is no longer included in the backup. The result? Slightly smaller file sizes, but not much. I'm still anywhere between 100 and 500 MB every night. Obviously no good for nightly "incremental" backups.
    3. Support. First I was disappointed because the only FAQ or support info Acronis offers is entirely pre-sales focused. Sorry, Acronis, but it's really worthless from a post-sales perspective! The manual is OK, but it's long on peripheral info (do we really need another source of information on disk partition structure?) and short on real rubber-meets-road usage information. To top this off, I formally wrote a support request to Acronis tech support on 6/7 and finally received a reply over one week later. By then, I had already figured out everything except the file size issue, and the answer I received did nothing more than restate the "sectors, not files" point I've already read here a bunch of times. I would suggest a formal KnowledgeBase (an honest Support FAQ instead of a Marketing FAQ) to house some of these more frequent "answers," instead of relying on 1-1 e-mail or this forum.

    My situation is simple: I have a large second hard drive and I want nightly incremental backups of my primary drive written there. Surely that is a common need? If I really have 500 MB worth of sector changes happening in one day's time, then I don't think that sector-based incremental backup is a very good approach for the product to take. It's not really very incremental, is it, when the "increments" represent massive chunks of the hard drive?

    I made my own bed here by not doing more homework, but I honestly would like to ditch the product and get my money back at this point. I suppose I'll try to call and make this request, but I don't have high expectations. I am 100% confident that there are many other superior choices out there at this time--and probably some of them free to boot.

    To demonstrate that I have some sense of balance here, I will say that this is probably a good product for basic users, in the sense that the UI is friendly. However, I would imagine that even basic users would benefit greatly from a filtering feature. And who wouldn't want the smallest files possible when doing incremental backups?

    Any advice from other users?

  2. .Chris

    .Chris Registered Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    Re: 1.
    Well, you're confusing imaging with file backup. Imaging is primarily that, an exact replica of a drive or partition state at the time of the imaging. Not a partial replica, but a complete one.

    You want file backups? Get SecondCopy 2000. Brilliant piece of software, reliable and low on resources.

    Re: 2.
    Gotta agree with you there. All I can say is, Acronis' incremental image gives new meaning to the word, "Incremental". I just stopped using it after I created 3 separate incremental images to be sure it wasn't a one-time occurence.

    Re: 3.
    Support so far has been pretty good for me. Only initially when they released TI7, was the support horribly slow; but, that was due to all the TI7 sales that first month.

    Regarding your situation, may I ask what is the size of the partition that you're imaging? Because, I myself have set to backup my boot partition nightly and it comes out at 1-1.2GB. Since, its pretty small, I've got a 50GB Secure Zone which gives me access to last the 40-50 days of my partition, which is more than enough.

    Basically, what you need to do is create your partitions, based on practical needs and not what the factory-default threw at you. Have your doc's on a separate partition and so on.

    Hope that helps, John!
  3. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Apr 28, 2004
    Hello John --

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us and for your interest in Acronis
    True Image (http://www.acronis.com/products/trueimage/)!

    1. Indeed, Acronis True Image 7.0 is sector-based utility, not file-based. Due to that fact you can image only whole partitions/drives without an opportunity of not imaging some concrete files. Though we are working on removing from the image some really not needed files like SWAP, etc. But of course this has nothing to do with the useful data.

    2. As I said above, it's sector based product, thus if you delete a folder and then copy it back to the same location on your drive there *will* be some changes from the view of disk sectors. Thus - even though that from the view of the User there was no changes - they occurred and this will be reflected in the size of the incremental backup.

    3. I apologize for the delay in support - but we are working hard to close it. We've hired some additional people and we do believe that soon we will be back to our normal "less than 48 hours " support time response.

    Thank you.

    Best regards,
    Anton Gromov

    Acronis, Inc.
    395 Oyster Point Blvd. Suite 213
    South San Francisco
    CA 94080 USA

    Acronis... Compute with confidence
  4. johnlu_78759

    johnlu_78759 Registered Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Thanks for the comments. In truth, I think I am not the "sweet spot" user for this product, and I simply didn't do enough homework after reading a review in a computing magazine that portrayed it as the best choice for my needs. I believe that the product would work better for a different class of user who is primarily concerned with imaging disks--as the first respondent pointed out.

    Kudos to Acronis for having a true no-hassle 30-Day refund policy! One thing I can report is that my experience with True Image has ultimately cost me no money and taught me a few things to boot. Though at times overloaded, the support folks seem like they are interested in the best outcome for the customer.

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